Friday, January 26, 2007

Psychic Investigators 9

The (cryptic) ABC promo of this week's episode:

A psychic reading is interrupted by a vision of a young man who tells the psychic he was attacked.

This week's incredible, amazing, unbelievable, really true, unique, stunning, always correct, professional psychic police aide is Diane Lazarus aka Diane Lloyd-Hughes ("rated one of the top five psychics in the world" - she doesn't say who did the rating or what the criteria were).

Ms Lazarus has stated "I will catch the Suffolk Strangler" and that he is a "young lad, a hoodie". No. She didn't. He wasn't.

She claims to have helped police solve numerous crimes, including the murder of Mark Green. There is no evidence for these claims.

In fact, the West Midlands Police state "No psychic was used to locate the body".

I have consulted with all of my senior investigating officers (SIO's), and none can recall using such a person. I have personally received letters on an unsolicited basis from individuals claiming to have information; often these are of little if any value and will not be acted upon. They can often be misleading and inconsistent with the facts. The investigation of murder is, like all major crimes, merely a systematic approach using standard procedures in a methodical way. They are often complex processes using multiple and concurrent lines of enquiry but again like all crimes the police rely heavily on information it receives, most often from eyewitnesses, other witnesses, and technical and scientific support. We also work very closely with the families of the deceased, this is a sensitive area and often information given by well meaning individuals can cause hurt and often disappointment to the family.

South Wales Police are also dubious of her claims of association with them:

I have spoken to the Senior Investigating Officer dealing with the Muriel Drinkwater murder (1946). He has no recollection of South Wales Police ever using a psychic on any murder enquiry over the last 30 years, including that of Muriel Drinkwater. South Wales Police have had no dealings with the named Diane Lazarus and can confirm that the statements you allege she has made on her website are untrue.

"Untrue"? A psychic lying? Tell EoR it isn't so! You mean, they're making the whole story up? EoR is shocked and incredulous. Probably like the viewers of Psychic Drivellers.

As per usual in the program (cue techno-X-files style music) "the police were baffled". Apparently Ms Lazarus makes tape recordings of all her seances (yes, she still practices the Victorian parlour game of "seances"). There were even images of a tape turning around while we heard a couple of Ms Lazarus's spooky predictions. But was this the original tape? Everything else in the program was a reconstruction years after the event. At one point Ms Lazarus's image, speaking the words, is superimposed over the image of the spinning tape. EoR is very doubtful that this is the original tape, which would, however, make very interesting listening. We could actually hear the original guesses, wrong or right, complete and unedited, rather than this heavily biased propaganda.

The investigating detective seemingly went on a TV show. Whether to appeal for information, or to spruik psychics is a little unclear. A couple of (extremely brief) segments were shown, but the only thing EoR got from that is that the interviewer was a little bemused by her describing the information provided by psychics as "enhancing" her job.

Well, if the reconstruction of the detective and psychic "teaming up" to solve the crime is anything to go by, it can't have enhanced it very much. In the reconstruction, the detective very carefully explains to Ms Lazarus where the CCTV camera was, where the missing man was walking, and all about an unidentified person he is seen with. How much else did she tell him at the time? How much else did she gain from the media coverage of the disappearance?

The psychic did not solve the crime. Again.

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